TOKYO // An outing of luxury sports car enthusiasts in Japan ended in an expensive motorway pile-up - smashing a stunning eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini and three Mercedes-Benz with an estimated worth of more than US$4 million (Dh14.7m).
Police say they believe the accident occurred when the driver of one of the Ferraris tried to change lanes and hit the central reservation. He spun back across the motorway, and the other cars collided while trying to avoid hitting his car.
"I've never seen such a thing," Eiichiro Kamitani, the highway patrol lieutenant, told AFP by telephone. "Ferraris rarely travel in such large numbers."
Lt Kamitani said 10 people — five men and five women — sustained slight injuries, in the accident.
"It is highly possible that they were driving in couples.
"Speeding was possible but we have yet to determine the exact cause."
The luxury cars were all in one place because they were being driven by a group of automobile enthusiasts on their way to nearby Hiroshima.
Video of the crash aired by NTV, a major national network, showed several smashed, bright red Ferraris cluttering the freeway.
Police declined to comment on the total amount of damage, but said some of the vehicles were beyond repair.
With new Ferraris retailing at more than ¥20m each and Lamborghinis costing anything up to ¥30m, Japanese media said the total cost of the pile-up could run to ¥300m or nearly US$4m.
Super cars are not necessarily owned by the super-rich in Japan. Many owners are young people who save up their earnings to satisfy their dream, according to media.
NTV quoted the driver of one of the tow lorries brought in to clear the scene as saying it was the most expensive crash site he had ever seen.
No one was seriously injured, but police in Yamaguchi said 10 people were treated for cuts and bruises.
Police say 14 cars were involved all together, which included a less glamorous Toyota Prius, the popular hybrid car.